Weekends are synonymous with long drives – some planned and some unplanned. An errand I had during the weekend got cancelled and I was thrilled. As there was no time to plan for some unexplored places, we decided to do a repeat trip to Ananthagiri and do a nature walk and some bird-watching.
We started off early Sunday morning. In contrast to the honks of vehicles, we heard the screams of peacocks as we came out of the city. While crossing Chevella, I realised a major portion of the vegetables that we consume in Hyderabad is being grown here. It was a delight to see a field of the lovely marigold flowers.
After reaching Ananthagiri, we wanted to spend some time watching birds as this is one of the best places around Hyderabad for this activity. We spotted some rose-ringed parakeets, which are very common here, white-bellied drongos, grey hornbills and coppersmith barbet, lots of green bee-eaters — to name a few.
A little while later, we reached the Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple and had a nice brunch at a small hotel. Then, we ventured further down. As some of us were tired, we decided to take a nap under an old tree with nice shade. Sleeping in the shade of a tree gives one such a nice feeling.
Having rested for a bit, we started thinking of what to do next. And my friend suggested that we go to the Kotepally reservoir. They had recently opened a kayaking facility for the visitors. As I had never attempted kayaking before, I was quite excited about it.
Upon reaching the reservoir half-an-hour later, I was amazed to see the environs. The place is surrounded by hills and forests with a lake encompassed in between. Though we wanted to take a single boat, I was a bit scared as I hadn’t done it before. The kayak is very low and close to water, and that makes it a bit scary.
The instructor tied a life jacket, making me feel a little safe, and I thought why not enjoy the ride! They told us how to row the boat and settled me on my kayak. In moments, off I went like a bird on its first flight. I started loving it.
As I was the only person in my boat, I had full control. At times, the winds were taking me in some other direction and I had to row harder to get to where I wanted to go. I realised it was so much like our life – we need to take full control despite the prevailing situation. It was indeed a memorable day!
How to Go: Kotepally is located at a distance of 94 km from Hyderabad. It takes about 2.5 hours to reach kayaking and boating spot at Kotepally Project.
It is just 17.5 km from Vikarabad and takes about 30 mins to reach there.
The best way to go there from Hyderabad is to drive. The roads are very scenic.
If you want to go by public transport, there are buses to Vikarabad. After that, you need to take an auto to reach the kayaking site.
When to go: The best time to go is during monsoon, or after it. The places are covered with a carpet of green and look amazing.
Summers are really hot though!
Mornings and evenings are the best times to visit the temple. It’s closed in the afternoon.
Where to stay: Though most visitors make it as a day trip from Hyderabad, if you want to stay back in the serenity, the best place is the Haritha Resort in Ananthagiri. There are low budget hotels around the temple as well.
Other places to visit: There are some places nearby which can be visited in the same trip.
Tips: This is a fairly unexplored place and still not touristy. Please make every effort not to litter the place.
There are not many places to eat or drink on the way, please bring your own.